USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Yarr, There Be Treasure in That Tharr Nebula!

Posted on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 @ 10:41am by Commander Jonathan Mantell & Commander Martin Sorenson & Ensign Rufus Marocain

Mission: Back Post
Location: Bridge, Deck 1
Timeline: Talk Like a Pirate Day, 2397

It was a typical shift on the bridge.

Even in the interlude between conversation, the bridge was a symphony of sounds. The gentle warble of the viewscreen refreshing, the melodic beeps of console buttons being pressed, the throbbing hum of the slipstream drive vibrating through the deckplates, the oscillating whirr of the telescopic eye lens of Jack's shoulder parrot.

Seated in the middle of the bridge, the diminutive chief engineer sat upright in a chair that still loomed over the top of his head. That was the why he wore the robotic parrot on his shoulder, of course, which squawked each time something caught its digital eye.

If it was unusual, the rest of the bridge crew weren't saying anything about it.

They wouldn't dare cross the Dread Pirate Jack!

"Yarrr, Rufus my trusty Seadog, how true be our course heading?" the Dread Pirate Jack called from his chair, his hands gripping the ends of the console-capped armrests as he leaned forward eagerly. "Are we still headed for that Treasure Nebula there yonder?"

"Rrrr," Rufus replied enthusiastically, perhaps a bit overly so since it came out more Kainan growl than 'Yarr', but he lifted his tail proudly. "Straight and true, Cap'n, guided by the first star to the left," he expounded pointing at the center screen. "Dead on to the Treasure Nebula packed with steak!"

Steak. It was the one lesson the hardy Seadog never learned under his Cap'n: food rots. Food made a poor man's treasure, but then again the Dread Pirate Jack would be a poor man without treasure. So he'd indulge his trusty navigator's strange sense of tastes, even if the Kainan's version of treasure was a lot less shiny.

The parrot squawked at the same time Jack noticed. He stood up and stepped down off the platform, tilting his head as he stared at Rufus, "Did ye say left, matey? Well, shiver me hull plating, I said starboard not larboard! First star to the right, my good Seadog, that be where our treasure lie!"

Rufus' ear twitched back at the squawk - he knew the parrot was robotic but the sound was real enough that he had to keep from whipping around and grabbing it by the neck.
Parrots were small for eating, but tasty. "Right... Right," Rufus corrected. "The other nebula - the one with bones! Grrarr!"

"Yarr, my good Seadog, bones. Bones wearing big rings with Kibberian fire diamonds and bracelets made of pure daffyduckium!" Cap'n Jack agreed, and a broad grin grew on his face. Now that they were on the right course, nothing could go wrong. He leapt up onto the center chair, placing one foot on the seat and another on the armrest, posing with his arm held high. "And once we've stripped their shiny jewels, Rufus, all the bones are yours. Treasure for me, treasure for you, treasure for all of us!"

A rousing sound filled the bridge as his pirate crew joined in on the clamor. Jack didn't know how many of them had been bought and bribed to play along by his nemesis, the wicked Navy Commodore, but right now he didn't care.

"Three cheers for the Cap'n!" Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!"

The bridge crew were clearly getting into character and Rufus couldn't help but grin - rakishly, of course, since he was being a pirate. "Aye, daffyduckium. That always sounded like it should be edible, like cheesium."

"Aye, but ye do eat it!" Jack said, and giggled as he pulled at his ear. The Dread Pirate pulled off one of his clip-on earrings, and put it to his mouth. "Like this," he explained, and proceeded to bite down on the jewelry. Not too hard, just a light tap, but when he pulled it away the boy began to lisp. "Thee? Ith ye can thay your etheth athter thith, it itthn't daththyduckium!"

He hocked and spit a loogie at the other end of the bridge, and then Cap'n Jack was back to his normal self. "Stick with me, mateys, I'll teach ye all the secrets of being a good pirate."

By now the normally all business bridge crew was nearly overcome with laughter. Rufus in fact had to clamp his lips shut to keep from actually barking it. However at the sound of the lift doors starting to open everyone made an effort to bite it back and straighten up since the person due to arrive was the 2XO, Commander Sorenson. While the doctor wasn't without a sense of humor, he wasn't exactly the type for this level of schoolyard fun. However, when the door opened, Rufus let loose the laughing bark he'd just been trying to suppress. He couldn't help it; his mouth literally fell open. Normally quiet reserved Doc Martin looked like he'd raided an opera company's costume for pirate gear - a big gold hoop hung from an ear just below the blue sash tied around hair now long enough to tie back at the nape of his neck, and though technically in uniform, his medical tunic was just barely visible under a frilly shirt open to mid-chest covered by a tattered but gold-trimmed frock coat right out of earth's age of sail. He hadn't stopped at applying a follicle stimulator to the hair one his head either; he was sporting a beard adorned with beaded braids. And he seemed to be wearing heavy eye make up. Rufus rubbed his eyes and blinked.

Martin swaggered - because what else did you do when dressed head to toe in pirate swag? - onto the bridge with a broad grin. "Ahoy, me hearties! Has Jack not keelhauled any of ye yet?"

Jack turned as his pirate squawked again, staring into the eyes of the dreaded ship's surgeon. A man so fearsome, even those who survived his ministrations trembled in his wake. Yet the Dread Pirate Jack refused to quiver, grinning as he gestured to his crew, "Arr, why would I? This is the best crew on the space seas, aren't ye?"

A resounding "Aye, Cap'n!" went up around the bridge.

"Yer right. A round of pirate-ade for all of ye!" Jack announced, and sat down in his chair again. He gestured for Martin to take the seat to his right. "Tell me, my good doctor, that all be well below decks."

"Tis quiet," Martin reported, flopping into the chair with one leg hitched over the outer armrest. He narrowed his eyes, looking over at Jack. "Too quiet. Everywhere I passed crew froze then scuttled away like frightened bilge rats," he swept a hand in a broad gesture. "You'd think I was goin'ta force 'em to swallow medicated grog."

Or they thought you'd been body-snatched... Rufus thought, snickering. Though the medicine thing was the usual reason for people dashing off when they saw the doctor.

Laughter rang from the Dread Pirate Jack's chair, a hooting sound that made his robotic parrot flap its wings and its camera eye whirr. "That's because your grog makes them all wish they were walking the plank instead!"

"Scurvy sprogs," Martin chuffed, pulling a flask from inside his coat and taking a swig. "Tis nothing wrong with me grog." He grinned at Jack, offering the flask. "Ginger beer - good fer what ails ye."

"Ye think me be wearing a red shirt?!" Cap'n Jack sprang from his chair, his furrowed brow twisting to glare back at Martin —or any who would dare think otherwise. Then it softened, and he was all grins again. The boy slapped the bearded doctor's boot, and a holler of laughter escaped him as he exclaimed, "Save your medicinal brews for these scalliwags who call themselves my crew." He pounded his chest with a closed fist. "Only root beer for me!"

"Yer loss," Martin laughed, taking another drink of his favorite ginger brew - extra ginger with just a touch of spice. It was only a shame bridge duty meant no rum to mix with it. "But you know ginger be a root, eh?"

"The root of all evil, mayhaps," Jack mused, though his expression stayed light and carefree. Nothing could upset the Dread Pirate Jack so easily. "Nay, doctor, we seek something more pure than roots and beer." He grinned so wide that the bright lights reflected off his fake, gold tooth. "Plunder, treasure, booty!"

"Bone broth!" Rufus chimed in. After all, what kind of pirate drank root beverages? He figured human pirates might have drawn the line at drinking the rendered marrow of their foes like Kainan pirates of old, but broth from regular meat bones was as wholesome to him as root beer was to humans. "Steak, bones, and rings of pure daffyduckium!"

"Arr," Martin intoned with playful agreement, lifting his flask as if in toast.

Leaping forward from the center of the bridge, Jack sprang forward until he reached the helm console. "Aye, matey! All that and more!" He yelled in agreement, beaming at the whole bridge crew. The moment was rather euphoric, and the bubbling mini-pirate couldn't help but take it in stride. "Say, Rufus me clever Seadog, what be the pirate's favorite letter?"

Rufus cocked an ear. Seemed obvious. "Arrr!"

The Dread Pirate Jack cackled as his robo-pirate squawked from his shoulder once more. "Nay!" The boy leaned in and placed his hand on Rufus' shoulder. He grinned again, his gold tooth gleaming, "'Tis the C!"

Rufus cast an exaggerated grimace at the boy pirate. "Blow me down, that's arrrful!"

"Old as the C," Martin laughed. "Like savin' a pirate's life with CPArrr."

"You too, Doc?" Rufus asked, giving him sad doggy eyes.

"Tis that time in September when sea dogs remember remember that adults still know how to play," Martin recited, then chuckled. "And tell 'arrful' puns."

This time, Jack erupted into a full belly laugh, a boisterous sound that filled the whole bridge. "Stay the course, Rufus, ye be a swarthy pirate yet!"

"Sink me if'n I'm not already swarthy," Rufus laughed back, gesturing to his black fur.

"He has a point," Martin laughed and grinned at Jack. "The scurvy dog here may be you." He took a gulp from his flask. "Especially if ye'll not take good ginger grog."

"Yarr, doctor," the Dread Pirate Jack was back at his chair now, his eyes gleaming at Martin. "Methinks ye be the pirate-y-ist one here. Alright, give me a swig of that brew!"

The doctor wiped the rim with his sleeve - he might be a pirate today, but that mean he wouldn't try to minimize sharing germs - and poured a swig into Jack's mug. "Thar you go. Now back to course. If me luck holds there may be coffee bean doubloons in that nebula too."

Jack cocked a grin and took a swig of his ginger beer. The bubbles danced on his lips and he said, "Aye, whatever fills ye treasure chest, mateys, that be the truest course of the pirate heart."


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